Washington County officials question Jordan on Community Investment Strategy
Metro COO Michael Jordan engaged the Washington County Coordinating Committee on Monday in an hour-long discussion of the major elements of the Community Investment Strategy he unveiled Aug. 10.
Members of the Coordinating Committee raised concerns about the report’s recommendation that future residential development in areas added to the urban growth boundary achieve a density of 15 units per net developable acre, a density greater than what is achieved in many areas of the region today. Sherwood Mayor Keith Mays responded, "That doesn’t fit well. It makes it a non-starter. How do you respond to edge communities struggling to deal with ten [units per acre]?"
Jordan replied, "There needs to be a regional policy discussion around this. I think there’s give and take to be had, depending on landscape." He also underscored that, with a 26,000-acre supply of urban reserves proposed to last 50 years, higher densities will need to be considered. Tigard Mayor Craig Dirksen underscored Mays’ concern and the prospect of developing an "urban crust" of higher density development at the edge of the UGB and away from urban centers, while Rob Dixon, assistant city manager with the City of Hillsboro, mentioned that his city is already looking at increasing densities in its existing town and regional centers. "A significant densification plan was needed to make urban renewal work in downtown Hillsboro. Tanasbourne/AmberGlen will also have high densities," said Dixon.
Others at the meeting raised concerns about whether Metro was considering the availability of land that is already inside the UGB from an expansion in 2002 that has largely gone undeveloped. Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden cited 1,000 acres south of his city, plus the 12,000 acres in Damascus, as areas where little or nothing has occurred and could be counted as existing capacity for new residential development. Jordan noted that the analysis of the current UGB’s capacity to accommodate growth over the next 20 years assumes, for the most part, that the areas brought into the UGB in 2002 will be developed at 50 percent of their zoning potential by 2030.
Another concern that was raised by Cornelius city manager Dave Waffle dealt with the equitable distribution of regional resources to areas throughout the region and whether certain parts of the region would get bypassed in favor of others. "We can’t spread our resources like peanut butter across the region," said Jordan, while also noting that "all communities need to share in the goods of those investments over time."
Read more about the Community Investment Strategy
Learn more about the Washington County Coordinating Committee